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KS2 Formal and Informal Language – Tarsia Puzzle and Worksheet

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This challenging KS2 grammar game will help get children thinking about the difference between formal and informal language.

A tarsia is a simple jigsaw puzzle which children solve by matching up sides of triangles so that they correspond with each other, to form one giant equilateral triangle.

In this case, children need to match formal and informal words and phrases. An ideal stretch and challenge activity for in the classroom, or for homework.

This resource includes:

  • Printable tarsia puzzle PDF
  • Blank tarsia puzzle template PDF
  • Formal and informal language list worksheet
  • Formal and informal language list worksheet answers
  • Teacher’s notes

What is formal writing?

Formal writing is used in situations that are serious or involve people we don’t know well. Some spoken English can also be formal, such as a speech or a lecture.

What is informal writing?

Informal writing is used in relaxed situations with people we know well. It is common to use informal language when we speak.

Formal and informal writing examples


  • We went to London for the day. We have a lot of things to tell you.
  • It was raining very heavily.


  • Went to London for the day. Lots to tell you.
  • It was raining cats and dogs

National Curriculum English programme of study links

The difference between structures typical of informal speech and structures appropriate for formal speech and writing.

Knowing and understanding the differences between spoken and written language, including differences associated with formal and informal registers.

The difference between vocabulary typical of informal speech and vocabulary appropriate for formal speech and writing.

  • Teacher notes
  • Two sheets of tarsia pieces
  • Informal words and phrases list worksheet so children can anticipate possible formal versions
  • Teacher's answer sheet showing the formal/informal pairs,Blank tarsia sheets so children can make their own puzzle for classmates to solve
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